The third session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) adopted 11 resolutions submitted by Member States.
Delegates also adopted, by consensus, a negotiated Ministerial Declaration, through which they agreed to address the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans.
6 December 2017: During its closing plenary, the third session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) adopted 11 resolutions submitted by Member States. Delegates also adopted, by consensus, a negotiated Ministerial Declaration, through which they agreed to address the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans.
The overarching theme of UNEA-3 was ‘Towards a Pollution-Free Planet,’ with delegates and observers highlighting that the UN Environment Programme (UNEP or UN Environment) #BeatPollution campaign had garnered nearly 2.5 million pledges from individuals across the world. In a press release, UNEP underscored that if “all commitments are met, 1.49 billion people will breathe clean air, one-third of the world’s coastlines will be clean, and US$18.6 billion of investment will come online.” Further, four Leadership Dialogues held on the first day of the Ministerial Segment provided an additional forum for ministers to discuss practical policy measures towards a pollution-free planet.
The draft resolutions and decisions adopted at the session were prepared during the third meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-3), which was held back-to-back with UNEA-3, and finalized by the Committee of the Whole. The resolutions and decisions called for accelerated action and strengthened partnerships to, inter alia: combat the spread of marine plastic litter and microplastics; eliminate exposure to lead paint and promote sound management of used lead-acid batteries; improve air quality globally; address water pollution; manage soil pollution; and control pollution in areas affected by terrorist operations and armed conflict.
The adoption of a resolution on UNEA’s contribution to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was broadly welcomed. The meeting also adopted three decisions relating to organizational matters, agreeing on: the date and venue of UNEA-4, and extension of the publication of the 6th edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6); and the management of trust funds and earmarked contributions.
Reflecting on meeting outcomes during the closing plenary, UNEA-3 President Gutiérrez-Espeleta (Costa Rica) described the consensus achieved by more than 170 counties as a clear sign of the global relevance of pollution, stating that “the results of this UNEA will provide us with concrete solutions to achieve our aspirations.” He expressed hope that they will also inspire concerted action on pollution.
UNEA-3 met from 4-6 December 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 4,300 delegates participated, including 1,197 delegates from more than 170 Member States, 711 representatives of Major Groups and Stakeholders, and 94 inter-governmental organizations. [IISD RS Coverage of UNEA-3] [UNEP Press Release]